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Children’s Occupational Therapy – Warrington

Bridgewater Warrington Children’s Services update

Read our update on our children’s services for parents and carers of Warrington.

What the Children’s Occupational Therapy Service does

Our aim is to provide a high quality Occupational Therapy service as part of a multidisciplinary team to meet the needs of children and young people.

We can support the family with functional and daily living skills and activities in relation to the daily environment for children and young people 0-16 or 0-19 if attending a special school.

The focus is on maximising a child or young person’s participation in daily life at home, in education and in their community and on minimising any disability.  Self-management and independence is the aim of the service.

The Children’s Occupational Therapy Service will offer

  • Specialist assessment, including assessment and recommendation of equipment for school, including school seating.
  • Advice and Intervention on the basis of assessment of clinical need.
  • An individual management plan developed and agreed with the young person, parents and carers as appropriate.
  • Evaluation of outcomes and future plans.

Positive impact of the service

Independence in daily living enables a sense of self-esteem and positive well-being.

When a child or young person has difficulties with motor co-ordination or daily life skills it can lead to reduced self-confidence, poor attainment within education and negative behaviour due to frustration and low self-esteem.

Through expert assessment, diagnosis, management and the enablement of the child and others around him, Occupational Therapists work to overcome the negative impact of these difficulties.

Where we work

Staff are based at The Child Development Centre, Sandy lane , orford Warrington where we also offer a clinic based service.

Services are provided in the community ensuring that children / young people (and parents) are treated closer to home. where appropriate.

This could be from a range of locations including community clinics, mainstream and special schools, other venues in the community and in the patient’s home as appropriate.to meeting the child’s and family’s needs

The majority of buildings we use are fully accessible e.g. they have wheelchair access – however if you have concerns about accessibility, please contact us to let us know about them before your appointment so that we can accommodate any of your needs.

Who do we see?

We can support the family with functional and daily living skills and activities in relation to the daily environment for children and young people 0-16 (up to 19 if already known to the service)

The Team provides a service to children and families who live in Warrington and /or have a Warrington GP and have all other on-going input from Local Authority Warrington Services (Social and Educational)

Where needed we will assess for, recommend specialist pieces of equipment order to maximize children’s and young people’s participation and independence in daily activities at nursery or school. (Warrington social care make recommendations and provision of equipment for home)

We also provide assessment of children requiring splint/orthotic/lycra provision.

How to use the service

The service accepts referral from the following health professionals for all children registered with a Warrington GP or who reside in Warrington and have all other on-going input from Local Authority Warrington Services (Social and Educational), GP’s, Health Visitors/School Health Advisors, Special Needs Nurses and Consultants

On receiving a referral the referrer is informed if it is accepted and a letter with a leaflet about the service is sent to parent/carer with a functional questionnaire for them to complete on the child and return to the service.

On receipt of the questionnaire the parent/carer is contacted to arrange convenient appointment date and time. If the questionnaire is not returned it is deemed that the parent/care has chosen not to opt into the service and the child is discharged.

All children are seen for an initial assessment within 18 weeks of referral and advice for you to implement will be offered at the appointment, if clinically appropriate

The service has a waiting list for follow up appointments following the first appointment depending on the needs of the child.  You will be shown activities to carry out to support your child’s development.

There is no cost for the Occupational Therapy service.

How decisions are made about how we work with families:

What families can expect from the Occupational Therapy Service

  • Expert assessment including in depth analysis of daily living skills
  • We will collate information about the child or young person skills to inform diagnosis.
  • Parents/carers will be fully involved in the development of a management plan for their child
  • Each child will have a plan that the plan will contain clear measurable goals and expected outcomes
  • The goals will link to daily strategies for families and others to implement on a daily basis
  • Families can expect programs that they and relevant others, such as nurseries and schools, are to implement on a daily basis.
  • Families can expect that they and important others, such as teaching staff, develop their own skills in using the appropriate strategies to support their child on a daily basis.
  • Families can expect coaching sessions which may include a defined number of coaching sessions with the child individually or in a group or a training package for parents and teaching staff only.
  • All who work with the child have written information which is always copied to the family

Occupational Therapy staff will contribute to Education, Health and Care plans and reviews for children and young people with additional needs.

Families can expect signposting to other agencies and services where appropriate and when families consent to this beneficial support.

Occupational Therapists will advise and provide support for equipment where relevant and clinically appropriate.

Relevant, goals and management plans will be provided jointly in order to work in a holistic and meaningful way with families.

Moving on – transitions and discharge

A young person’s needs are continually reviewed and reassessed.

Where the service continues to be involved at transition points, such as school entry or  moving from primary to secondary, children’s to adults services, the service will ensure transition will be as seamless as possible by ensuring links are made with other services.

When a child has achieved their treatment goals/objectives or has reached their anticipated level of independence, the role of the Occupational Therapist is over.

When the child / young person or their parents / other professionals are self-sufficient with respect to knowledge about appropriate strategies the service will discharge the child to the care of these relevant others.

This is likely to be at the point where:

  • Skills are at an optimum level and the child or young person’s parents and teaching staff are trained to maintain the functional skills acquired and to ensure they are supported in an appropriate learning environment
  • Difficulties no longer have significant impact upon child’s development.
  • When assessment and Advice given and no treatment indicated
  • Resolution of difficulties with no ongoing needs.

The decision to discharge to the support of all others in the child’s life will always be discussed and agreed with the child or young person, their family and other relevant professionals.

How we communicate with service users and how you are involved in decision making/planning

Communication with users is routinely, face to face, in written format e.g. letter and reports or by phone. Email between parent and therapist is also used with parental consent.

Parents/carers and child are involved in developing goals and sign care plans. Families will get a review report to inform of child’s progress.

All who work with the child have written information which is always copied to the family as well as the GP and HV/School Nurse.

Occupational Therapy staff will contribute to Education, Health and Care plans and review for children and young people with additional needs

Ask Ollie

You may find it helpful to view the local offer site for further information about support and services in the area.  ‘Ask Ollie’ is the local offer that supports parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) and young people with SEND themselves.

The link to Ask Ollie is: https://www.warrington.gov.uk/localoffer/

Ask Ollie is co-produced by Warrington Borough Council with local young people with SEND, parents and carers of children with SEND and SEND practitioners who support these families.

We value what you say

We routinely ask for feedback from you to see how we are doing.

This may be a request for verbal feedback, or we will ask you to complete a ‘Talk to Us’ feedback form.

This information will be treated confidentially, and may be used by the team in order to improve our service.

We operate a Patient Partner Service and we would like to invite families to work with us.

About our staff and services

Young People and their families can access expert knowledge in the following areas:

  • Developmental Delay and Sensory processing
  • Motor Co-ordination Difficulties and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
  • Rehabilitation for children and young people following injury/accident
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders

All members of staff receive training in disability awareness and undergo regular supervision and clinical training to maintain their skills and develop new expertise.

Every member of the team has an up to date DBS check.

We deliver a range of services that you can access for you and your child/young person. This includes coaching/support sessions and review clinics.

Working with our partners

Evidence shows that the best results are achieved when we work with those in daily contact with the child and young person.

This enables those around him / her to promote skills to their full potential in a variety of meaningful environments.

For us this means working with a variety of settings and with a variety of other people including parents and professionals.

We aim to form a partnership with families and professionals to support others to maximize their child’s potential.

Parents are a significant member of the team who hold a unique insight into their child and whose contribution we value.

Our role as Occupational Therapists is to provide support and coaching to the significant people in the child’s life to enable them to develop their child’s skills.

What support do we need from you as parents/carers?

We really value your knowledge about your child and your support in helping your child to progress as far as they are able to

We need you to:

  • Attend appointments to watch and discuss how to help your child at home
  • Carry out suggested activities and ideas at home and in other situations on a daily basis
  • Let us know if you have anything that you would like to talk to us about your child’s mobility/posture/gross Motor skills

Who you can contact for further information

For general enquiries regarding Occupational Therapy, specific enquires about a child, to access our training or to make a referral – contact our team on 01925 946097.

You can also continue to get support from universal services such as your GP, Health Visiting and School Nursing Teams

If you have a compliment, a concern or want to make a comment about this service you can contact Patient Services (Formally PALS).

Contact details

The Pebbles, Child Development Centre
Sandy Lane

Tel: 01925 946097

What will happen when a referral is made?

  • Once we have received a referral, a functional questionnaire is sent to the parent / carer(s) to be completed and returned to the OT service
  • Once the questionnaire is returned the parent / carer will be contacted to chose an  appointment
  • At the appointment an assessment will be made to find out strengths, areas of difficulty and  needs of the child; this may have to be done over more than one session
  • Discussion with parents / child will take place regarding the child’s identified difficulties / and treatment / management plan if appropriate, and future goals or discharge information set
  • An assessment report will be sent to relevant agencies involved subject to parental / carer consent. This will include recommendations of management
  • Follow up sessions will be arranged if needed


Information relating to a child will be kept confidential and not disclosed without prior consent except where disclosure is ordered by law.

Is there a waiting list?

There is a waiting list for assessment, families will be informed of wait time  on acknowledgement of referral. Staff are committed to reducing these waiting times.

What are the service priorities?

  • Safety issues for the child and / or carer
  • Equipment needs eg major pieces of equipment for nursery, school or special unit (not for home, as this is Social Services’ responsibility)
  • Splint / orthotic assessment and provision
  • Terminal illness
  • Degenerative conditions
  • Transfers into the area (where a child is active to an NHS Occupational Therapist or international equivalent, but not with a private practitioner)

All other referrals which do not meet these criteria will be dealt with in the order they were received.

Information sharing

In order to offer integrated, high quality services for children, all of our Childrens Services work closely with preschools, nurseries and schools.

We share information about the outcomes of assessments and the strategies recommended in order that preschools, nurseries and schools implement the same strategies on a daily basis.

We also inform preschools, nurseries and schools when a parent does not attend an appointment.

This will greatly help your child, but it you do not wish information to be shared you may withdraw your consent at any time.

Related websites

The British Association of Occupational Therapists
The National Autistic Society – Warrington Branch
Downs Syndrome Association
Sensory Integration network
Cerebral Palsy.org
College of Occupational Therapists Website
SCOPE Website
DYSPRAXIA Foundation Website
Sensory Integration Network UK & Ireland Website
Disabled Living Website